Seasonal variability of leaf litter removal by crabs in a Kandelia candel mangrove forest in JiulongJiang Estuary, China
Chen, G. C.
Lu, C. Y.
- 海洋环境－已发表论文 
The seasonal variability of leaf litter removal by crabs was observed from May 2006 to April 2007 in a Kandelia candel mangrove forest in Jiulongjiang Estuary, China. Daily average quantities of leaf fall ranged 0.85-3.86 gDW m(-2) d(-1), with high values in May, August, October and November. The whole-year's leaf fall was 6.48 t ha(-1) yr(-1) (1.81 gDW m(-2) d(-1)). The standing stock of leaf litter on the forest floor was 7.78 gDW m(-2) averaged from the whole year's data, with the lowest value in December (1.23 gDW m(-2)) and the highest in April (16.18 gDW m(-2)). Annually averaged removal (consumption on mangrove floor + burial in burrows) rate of leaf litter by crabs was 0.59 gDW m(-2) d(-1). High seasonal variability was observed in the removal rates of leaf litter by crabs. Removal rates in the winter months (December, January and February) were 0.07-0.09 gDW m(-2) d(-1), much lower than those in other months with values of 0.59-1.18 gDW m(-2) d(-1). Annually averaged percentage of leaf fall removed by crabs was 33%, with the highest values in September (reached 76%) and the lowest values in winter months, Of leaf litter removed by crabs, a large proportion was buried by crabs. and only 12% was consumed by crabs on the forest floor. Leaf litter removal rate, consumption rate on the forest floor, percentages of leaf fall and standing stock removed on the forest floor were significantly positively correlated with air temperature, indicating that leaf removal ability by crabs was higher in warm months than in cold months. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.